Sleep Health Benefits - 5 Tips for Getting Your Best Rest from a Holistic Nutritionist.
Updated: Jun 30
We all know getting adequate sleep can play a major role in our mood, productivity, and overall health. But did you know it can also mess with your appetite and make it challenging to decipher your hunger and fullness?
Here's why: While sleep-deprived, your hormones respond in a big way to fight off fatigue. Your body will lower the hormone Leptin (the satiety hormone) and increase Ghrelin (the hunger hormone) making you scavenge frantically throughout the day for energy in the form of carbohydrate-heavy, sugar-laden foods.
While you sleep, your body works to repair itself, balance hormones, boost your immunity and is crucial for optimal function of metabolism. Getting 7-9 hours of sleep should be a top priority and will go along way in stabilizing your eating behavior, as well as decrease your risk for cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disorders, cancer, and inflammation.
For most of us, that's easier said than done, so below are my 5 Tips to Getting Your BEST REST!
1. Avoid caffeine late in the day. I cut off my caffeine by 2pm and switch to herbal tea or plain water. Caffeine is a stimulant and can cause a stress response in our body. Some people take longer than others to come down from that.
2. Shut Down. Limit your exposure to the blue light of phones, TVs and computers -this signals your brain its day time. I suggest powering down about an hour before you want to be in bed. This means, TV is off, phone alarm is set and on a charger out of sight, laptops and iPads are shut. Dim the lights in the house if you can.
3. Relax. Run a bath and add Epsom salts and some Lavender essential oils. Lavender is known for reducing anxiety and emotional stress. If you've already showered for the night, apply a face mask and add some Lavender essential oil to your diffuser instead!
4. Drink up. Sip on some warm Chamomile tea. Chamomile is a calming and relaxing herb that settles your nervous system, making it a great addition to your nighttime ritual.
5. Write it down. If you crawl into bed and still feel like your mind is wondering, write it down. Whether its your to do list for the next day, thoughts or things you had meant to finish that afternoon-get it on paper...then write down three things you are grateful for. This will shift your focus on the positive and may distract your mind from any remaining racing thoughts. Then pick up a book, or cuddle with a loved one and before you know it, you'll be catching some well deserved zzzzzz's!
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1.Holland, J. (2016). Moody bitches: The truth about the drugs youre taking, the sleep youre missing, the sex youre not having, and whats really making you crazy. NY, NY: Penguin Books.
Mavanji, Vijayakumar et al. “Partial sleep deprivation by environmental noise increases food intake and body weight in obesity-resistant rats” Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.) vol. 21,7 (2013): 1396-405.